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Last Year Chatham was the 2nd fastest growing county in North Carolina. The official 2010 Census placed our 2010 population at 63,505, an increase of 28.74% since 2000 (The state average growth for that decade was 18.5%). Less than 20% of our county’s residents live in incorporated towns. The most recent estimated population from the US Census Bureau is 71,472 for 2017, a 14% increase from 2010.
This growth is a result of the approval of thousands of residential houses in the past decade. However, very few commercial or rental projects have been approved over that same time period. Chatham County has more mobile homes than it has rental units.
The lack of supply in both rental housing and homes for purchase against trying to preserve as much land in Chatham is a primary issue that the County is attempting to mitigate with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan that was newly adopted in 2017.
The Comprehensive Land Use Plan limits future commercial development to a handful of small designated nodes, mostly along 15-501 and 64. This puts a premium on creating smart, dense development that combines retail and residential communities while fitting in with established communities in these areas.
Williams Corner is located in a Community Center. The Comprehensive Land Use Plan defines this as:
· Retail hubs located along key roadway corridors, these centers accommodate regional retail tenants complemented by local-serving commercial development.
· Allow flexibility to provide a variation and mix of centers at quadrant intersections.
· Mix of uses include retail, restaurants, services, and office uses (+/-125-400K SF commercial).
· Residential uses can include as much as 60% of land area and can include single family homes, patio/ cottage homes and attached units (apartments fall into the more general category of "attached units").
The rising cost for new construction, and lack of workforce housing makes it difficult for middle income residents to live in Chatham.
Teachers, Nurses, Police officers, Firemen, Young Couples,
Single working professionals, and 55+ singles are having
to live, work, and play outside of Chatham.
There is a municipal impact that dollars can't measure. It is estimated that 89% of all career firefighters, 72% of all Chatham Teachers 80% of all Chatham County law enforcement officers reside outside of Chatham County.
The function of Chatham's municipal services are
directly impacted by the lack of availability of rental units.
One of the few apartment complexes in north Chatham, Camden Governors Village, is consistently 98% occupied, higher than market averages.
Chatham has seen an increase in property values to an average home price to more than $432,000 (2019 data from Triangle MLS). This prices many middle income and workforce workers from having the ability to live in Chatham County.
Using 2019's average mortgage rates, which were historically low, a person needs to make at least $84k to $105k (range based on amount of down payment) to be able to afford (using 30% cost of housing rule) the average home in Chatham.
Williams Corner hopes to house more than 900 members of the Chatham workforce by 2027.
The currently approved plan (2008 Plan) has minimal buffer zones to adjacent property owners and fewer environmental standards and regulations. This 2008 Plan also calls for on site treated wastewater discharge.
The new 2020 plan doubles the riparian buffers to 100-200 feet and calls for off site sewage processing. Wetlands and diverse forested areas are preserved. The new site plan limits ground water runoff pollutants, traffic, and C02 by reducing retail footprint. In addition, there will be 2 bus stops and 4 electric charging stations.
Concentrating the limits of disturbance along an established urban corridor like 15-501 allows for preservation of higher quality and more naturalized areas of the project site, reduces development sprawl, and facilitates the preservation of rural areas of Chatham County.
Williams Corner is designed with high density vertical development where allowable further reducing the footprint of environmental impacts.
89 of the 118 acres are not being developed. There is 71 acres of dedicated open space, including 59 acres of the land that will be designated as conservation land.
Impervious surfaces are limited to approximately 28 acres (24% of the project's land)
Ride share will be promoted with two on site bus stops and 4 electric vehicle charging stations will be installed.
Williams Corner will be required by NCDOT to make modifications on both 15-501 and Lystra Road that are designed to improve current traffic concerns.
Chatham County's current tax base is comprised of 92% residential and 8% commercial. Residential taxpayers receive $1.17 in county services for every dollar they pay in taxes. Commercial taxpayers receive 33 cents in county services for every dollar they pay (Source: Chatham EDC). This created a necessity for additional commercial tax base in Chatham County.
As Chatham County continues to grow, there is increased need for schools and other government services. Chatham County needs more commercial taxpayers to help pay for these services.
A dense, mixed use community space is an ideal way to increase the commercial tax base, provided needed residential housing options, limit urban sprawl, create community, and stop sales leakage to neighboring counties.
Chatham residents spend more money outside of the county than they spend in the county (Source: Chatham EDC). Last year, Chatham residents spent $650 million in retail sales outside of Chatham. This results in loss in county sales tax revenues mean more than $10 million in lost County revenue, or about 10% of the county budget.
At full build out, Williams Corner is expected to:
From the operating activities of the commercial land uses and the occupancy of the apartments at buildout, Williams Corner is expected to: